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It's been less than a month since Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray, and already one has turned up wrecked. Since the new Corvette isn't on sale yet, chances are someone at General Motors will have a sizable expense report to fill out.

Caught by a poster at Digital Corvettes, the photo was supposedly snapped recently in Arizona, with the original shooter's commentary: "Cop had just arrived. Car is in worse shape than looks. Hit guardrail on left and bounced back to rocks." Automakers often run hot-weather and handling tests in Arizona, and this copy wears the Michigan manufacturer license plates that a GM-owned prototype would carry on public roads.

While at first glance the Vette looks OK, a closer look reveals serious damage; the front wheel looks too far askew, and there's long scrapes on the side of the body and the wheels. There may have been a side air bag deployed as well, but it's hard to tell under the tinted rear glass.

It's rare but not unheard of for a factory pre-production test drive to end in a crash; at this stage of Corvette development, the engineers would be tweaking software settings or chasing down some final production issues before the launch later this year. We asked Chevy for comment, and until we hear back we're struck by what GM always warns media test drivers: "Keep it shiny side up."

UPDATE: According to Chevy spokesman Monte Doran, this was a GM test drive gone wrong: "During evaluation, the driver caught the inside tire caught the edge of the pavement during a tight corner, leading to the accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt, the car received only minor damage, and no citations were issued."

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I'm still getting used to the "Camaroesque" tail lights.

Yea, IMHO those taillights were the mutha of all fk'ups on this laterest rendition. I much prefered the Ferrariesque twin circles..... Oh, but I'll bet GM saved some money on fabrication. Rumor in AutoWeek magazine says that shortly before the crash, the driver turned to the passenger and said, "Watch what happens when I turn-off the traction control and punch it".

In all honesty, I've never been a big fan of the corvette. There are a couple of vintage 60's roadster rarities that I'd love to get my hands on, but American icon that it is, the vette isn't my cup of tea.

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many a night I went thru 2 tankfulls! Sometimes 3.

Yikes.....[:o].....I thought I drove a lot. I have gone through 1 tank in a night maybe 10 times....maybe? I'll say a solid 6 or 7. But not 2 tanks in a night and definitely not 3.......Although the vehicles I was driving got over 18+ miles a gallon. I have only recently acquired a car that gets significantly less...[6].......That vette of yours sure was good lookin' though.....I bet it sounded pretty mean too.
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Motor was an L88 with a 950 three barrel with the primary jets at .098 and the secondary jets at .096 with 40 degrees total timing all in real quick. Doug Thorley

headers. 12.5 to 1 compression and aluminum flywheel. Best time was 12:20 ar 116 mph in the quarter granny shifting. Not real quick but it was fun especially with the gasoline fume headaches.


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